"My purpose. What was my purpose? Why was I sent here again? Why was I taken away from Mom? What job was I supposed to do? Why did I look different from the others? Why was I smaller? Would I find my human? Would I fit in? Would I be loved? I had so many questions. I asked Bear these questions and more. Some things he answered for me right away. Other things, he said I had to be patient. Patience meant learning to wait. This would prove to be one of the hardest lessons for me to learn." (Amato, Finding Joy: A Dog's Tale, 2020, p.26)
Animals, like humans, question their purpose and existence. In this excerpt from "Finding Joy: A Dog's Tale", we see how Little Bear pondered his purpose and questioned his existence. HIs questions show us that animals do think and feel. They make comparisons between themselves and others. They struggle with different things, like patience, fear, insecurity.
When humans decide to take an animal into their home, how many consider the feelings of the animal? Most make the decision because it is what they (the human) want- someone to snuggle, an excuse to exercise, and often as simple as the need for companionship. We see a rise in pet adoption during these COVID times. While this is great, I worry that once things get back to normal, and they will, what will happen to these companions? If we never considered the needs of the animal as an individual, we may see a rise in "returns" once things get back to "normal".
Animals are not things. They are sentient beings and they have needs and wants of their own. All dogs are not the same, all cats are not the same, all horses are not the same, just like all humans are not the same. When deciding to adopt an animal, take your time. Sit with the idea of it and imagine different scenarios. Truly consider if the animal will be happy and fulfilled living in your home. After asking all possible questions, take time to find an animal that will best fit into your home. You may love Great Danes, but having one in a small city apartment is not a good fit. An animal you think is adorable may require more exercise than you have time to provide. A special needs animal definitely requires special care and consideration. Having an animal companion is a responsibility not to be taken lightly.
In Finding Joy: A Dog's Tale, Little Bear show us life from his perspective. We see how he thinks and feels and how he works through different situations. Life is a journey! Seeing an animal's perspective on this journey is eye-opening and beautiful! As one person wrote, "He (Little Bear) takes us on a fun, memorable, and meaningful journey through his life from puppyhood to the afterlife and beyond. Entertaining and bittersweet.". Pick up your copy today on Amazon to embark on his journey to Finding Joy.